Fatality at haulier during unloading incident

Commercial Motor
May 31, 2023

Heavy haulage contractor GCS Johnson has been fined £140,000 after one of its employees was killed while unloading a trailer.

The Richmond, North Yorkshire-based firm appeared at Leeds Magistrates’ Court on 3 May, where it pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act following the death of Anthony Clark in 2018.

The father of two was helping move a large piece of machinery from one trailer to another at the company’s depot at Barton Quarry industrial estate. As a team of workers began moving the piece of machinery, it fell from the bed of the vehicle trailer and hit Clark, killing him instantly.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that when the workers were transferring the load for shipment, the machinery was in two parts and the smaller section fell free during the lifting operation.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Julian Franklin said: “If the load had been examined carefully prior to the lift being carried out, the team would have identified that it was in two pieces. As it was, the lifting method used was not suitable for a load of that size and shape, and a lifting plan should have been prepared. This terrible incident could so easily have been avoided by simply implementing the correct control measures and safe working practices.”

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